The one with the pictures


I really admire creativity. I am always in awe of the way that people see the world. Some see it as a concrete place of numbers and statistics. I don’t understand their view of the world but I can appreciate their brand of creativity.

I see the world as a series of images. They move and flow together in mostly word pictures and that’s how I’m prone to create. I weave and piece together the words until the world around me lights up.

My five-year-old sees the world as one giant surprise. He’s delighted with every step because he never really knows what’s coming next. I wish I could bottle that wonder up and sip on it awhile. Kids are master creators because they aren’t bound by predictability. I hope he never loses his sense of awe. I pray that a little piece of that always sticks with him.

And then there are the photographers. Those who see the world through a lens have a unique ability to create. Last month, my friends Tammy and Jenni reminded me once again that photographers are some of the most creative and inspiring people that God has placed on this earth. They see life in vivid color and dramatic black and white. They see life as a tapestry and with a tiny click, they capture an image that gives testimony to a single moment in time.

I’m a fan of photographers.

Before we left for California, Tammy told us of a project she’d like to work on. She wanted to capture a single image of each one of us that told a story. In the weeks leading up to the trip, we sent countless emails back and forth, each trying to determine what our image should look like.

Bethany’s image was a bit like a feast of words. Bethany may be the smartest person I know. Her grasp of literature and writing is impeccable, and her understanding of story and poetry is awe-inspiring. Add to that the fact that she is stunning, and you have a recipe for some pretty spectacular pictures.

Of course, Tammy took more than one image of each of us. Knowing that we’re all busy moms, Tammy understood that we rarely get to stand in front of the camera. We’re usually behind it in yoga pants and t-shirts capturing the life that plays out before us. So she gave us the opportunity to get prettied up and she gave us the gift of being in front of the lens for a little while.

When it came time for my photo shoot, I had in mind something vintage and simple. Tammy went above and beyond. She captured images that signify the emotional journey I’ve been on and merged them into a single image to tell our story of hope and healing. I thought that it would be easy for her to capture that image of me, but it wasn’t. I struggled to display the emotion necessary to really tell the story.

I’m a writer, not an actress.

But in the end, Tammy (and Bethany, who acted as her assistant) pulled it out of me. Because they’re that good.

After we took the serious image, Tammy let me have a little fun. We risked our lives inside a rodent infested house to capture this image. (And by rodent infested, I mean you could hear hundreds and hundreds of mice scurrying in the attic above us while mounds of mice feces piled from corner to corner. Horrifying…)



Tammy then had me change into a more vintage inspired outfit and just have a little fun. I felt like a supermodel and for over and hour we just laughed and enjoyed the art of creating.

It’s a little embarrassing for me to share fancy pictures of myself. It feels slightly narcissistic and strange, but this isn’t about me so much as it’s about my friend’s amazing talent. What Tammy does with a camera is nothing short of magical. She takes an ordinary girl – a minivan mom of three who’s life is not glamorous by  stretch of the imagination – and she transforms her into someone else entirely.



This is the beauty of art. It’s taking the ordinary – the plain – and focusing in on it in such a way that it becomes extraordinary. I’m grateful for friends who use their gifts in such powerful and beautiful ways!

Click this link to see the rest of the photos Tammy took during our morning in California. You’ll want to “Like” her on Facebook as well so you can keep up with her work as she continues to grow and expand as an artist.


I am continuing to revel in inspiration this week, as well as being blessed by friends who love me so much, they even work hard behind the scenes to surprise me. Jenni came to town for our trip – my dear friend who I’ve missed so much sacrificed time with her family, rented a car and drove here to meet us and did it as a surprise.

I am more than inspired – I am honored.




This quiche from the quaint little downtown area was lick the plate good.



Me. Honored and inspired and wearing my sassy hat.



It’s a horse with a fascinator!


Four women teeming with creativity, bravery and wicked humor.



Hope brimming



A Most Inspiring Theme

It turns out “Inspire” has become the theme of our annual Writer’s Retreat. 

 How could I be uninspired in a beautiful place like this?





One can be inspired to create and one can be inspired to eat. In one day's time I have been inspired to do both.

One can be inspired to create and one can be inspired to eat. In one day’s time I have been inspired to do both.


Thelma and Louise



Sweet Land of Liberty









Can I be so bold as to encourage you to find what inspires you and dive in?

Whether it be artistic or concrete, public or private, simple or complex – each of us was created with inspiration, a need to turn around and create something.

And when we give in to inspiration and creation in any form, we live life fully, impacting the world around us.

So go ye therefore and be inspired and I will do the same!

Over and out.

Ambition, Inspiration and the Glorious iPhone 5


I talked with my friend, Wendy yesterday. Everyone should have a Wendy that they can call…especially if it’s this particular Wendy.

I love conversations with Wendy because every time I hang up the phone I think, “Huh. I never thought of it like that.” Yesterday was no different. Somehow, some way (mostly because Wendy and I share the same brain) we ended up on the topic of ambition and motherhood.

“Women like you and I need inspiration,” Wendy said. “Yes, we are ambitious, but for us to feel successful we need more than ambition, we need to be inspired.”

That may not sound super profound to you, but it was highly enlightening to me. Because it’s absolutely true.

I was created with a brain that longs to be inspired. It’s why I love the arts so very, very much. I need music and nature and poetry and prose and photography and sculptures and landscape and history and travel and an overactive imagination. I need to see these things to feel creative.


I need to create to feel imaginative.



I need to be inspired to be a better mother.



But I had never thought of ambition and inspiration in the way that Wendy described them. If I had to rate my ambition level, I’d put myself in the moderate range. I am ambitious only to the point that I feel capable of success. This last year has been a big eye opener for me in regards to my ability to chase my dreams.

I’ve realized my limits this year and I’ve embraced them, freeing myself up to be inspired – not to be ambitious.

And in so doing, I’ve accomplished more in the last year than ever before.



Sometimes I look at the successful women around me and I find myself wildly frustrated at my own lack of ability to make things happen. There are some women who are so wonderfully geared and suited for ambitious careers and lofty goals, and they can still manage their homes without becoming completely unglued.

I am not one of those women. I get very easily overwhelmed and when I’m overwhelmed, the world around me shuts down. It gets foggy and dark and I find myself on the couch eating Nutella off a spoon while watching reruns of What Not to Wear.


It’s not pretty.


But when I feel inspired, I am able to do so much more and I feel a sense of confidence in those goals and dreams looming before me. I need inspiration to function, not ambition. That is how I’ve been wired and I’m learning to be okay with that.


So what does that have to do with the iPhone 5? 

I’m so glad you asked!

I bought one last week. It was an early birthday present to myself and can I just tell you? I’m having wicked fun with this little device. The photography potential of the iPhone is one of the big reasons I wanted one. I love photography. I’m not very good at it, but I love it.

red flower

What I especially love about the iPhone is the ability it gives us to looks at the world a little differently. Instead of dashing past a gorgeous spring bloom, we can get up close and inhale the scent. We can snap a picture and manipulate and play with it until that beautiful flower becomes a work of art.


yellow flower


We can create and creating gives way to inspiration



which bolsters confidence




and before you know it the world is an artist’s canvas just waiting to be discovered.


See? I told you everyone needed Wendy they could call.

So tell me – what inspires you?

Throwback Thursday


My brother and I at a costume party circa 1995

You’re welcome.

Come back tomorrow for a little chat about parenting – USA vs. FRANCE.


And next week is the final week I can claim to be in my early thirties. I have some plans on how to write my way into my mid-thirties. It’s better than drinking my way there, right?

Happy Thursday!

Dreamy Little Worker


I’m busy working toward my dream of seeing my book published.

I am writing and editing and pitching and querying and editing and writing and reading and pitching.

I believe in this book.

I believe it has great potential.

I believe it needs work.

I believe it’s pretty dang good.

I believe it will be published.

It’s overwhelming, all the work that goes into making a dream come true.

But in the end….

While I keep working, please, please, please visit my friend Jenni’s website. She’s the one who took that spectacular photo of the yellow flowers.

Don’t you just want to reach right into the screen and pluck that gorgeous flower?

Jenni and her family are continuing on their year long journey around the United States.

Her pictures are inspired, but even more inspiring?

They are chasing their dream.

Do you have a dream you’re chasing? 

Easter Present and Past

Because you can always use one more dose of cute. And because it’s my blog and I’m feeling sentimental and my babies are growing up and oh dear…

I’m crying again.

I do that a lot these days. It’s like my life has turned into one giant Hallmark commercial. You died those Easter eggs on your own? sob! You can read this whole book by yourself? sob! You want a little sister? sob! You don’t need my help getting dressed?

Well…that’s kind of nice, I have to admit.

Oy vey. I’m a wreck. Ignore me while you look at these photos.

Easter 2009

Easter 2010 - Landon...I just can't stand it.

Easter 2011 - Again with all the Landon....


Easter 2012

Easter 2013

I'm sorry, but when did this kid grow up?!?!

And then there's this one. Handsome little devil...


How was your Easter, friends? Do you have the same problem I do – the problem of children who seem to be growing way too fast?

It’s a problem without a solution, unfortunately.


Spring Break Photo of the Day


Florida is Awesome.

Wordless Wednesday: I Pity Da Fool

Everyone, meet Mr. Tea.

Mr. Tea…everyone.


Hot tea has never looked more relaxing. *wink*

Happy Wednesday!

When life gives you lemons…wear heels


Apparently a few stick on tatoos help as well.